To the Students of Self-Culture in the United States of America

Letter from Bhagwan Singh Gyanee addressed to "Students of Self-Culture in the United States of America," dated October 10, 1959. In the letter, Gyanee discusses his time in the U.S. as well as his efforts in creating a Self-Culture Institute in Punjab.

Date: October 10, 1959
Type: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Bhagwan Singh Gyanee
Location: Chief Minister's Guest House, Chandigarh, India

Dear Students and Friends :

A year ago to-day, the 10th of October, I left your beautiful Country to return to my Motherland after spending half a century in exile. Of these fifty I was a guest of your Nation for forty-two years. During this period I enjoyed your warm hospitality, friendship and association. To the best of my capacity I served you and your fellow citizens, offering not only the wisdom of my ancient India but scientific knowledge gleaned through contacts with Western minds as well as my personal experience. This was and still is “Self-Culture:”

While in America I traveled all over your vast Country lecturing before Universities, Colleges, Associations, Clubs and other Organizations, Masonic Lodges, Rotary Clubs, Unity Centres, etc., besides our own organized lectures and classes which you attended. In almost every large city we had Self-Culture Associations or Study Groups. It was my privilege and joy to do so.

The impressions formed during those years are deeply imbedded in my memory and still fresh and will ever remain with me. Because of this vividity and the warmth of our relationship I wish to share with you our present activities knowing you will be interested.

It was owing to renewed requests for my return received from the Chief Minister of my native State of Punjab, that I am here as his guest. Since my arrival I have been given royal receptions everywhere I have been: Bombay, Delhi, Jullundur, Amritsar and especially in my own country of Tarn Taran where one hundred twenty-five thousand of my country men gathered to welcome me. The Press Trust of India has been very generous: granting front page recognition and editorials in appreciation of the part I played in the Revolutionary struggle for the Freedom of India. All this demonstration of affection and respect was due to the friendship and consideration of the Chief Minister, (whom I knew in the early thirties while he was studying Political Science at Ann Arbor, Michigan), and through him other departments of the Government of Punjab.

Furthermore, fostered by the Chief Minister and with the co-operation of the Department of Education, we had a very successful experiment in opening a Summer Session of the “Self-Culture Institute, Punjab” at Chail, Simla Hills, during May and June, where more than five hundred young men and women, all holding College and University degrees, as well as three Principals, participated and were initiated in the Theory, Science and Philosophy of Self-Culture.

Self-Culture Institute became a magnet of attraction and we were visited by our Prime Minister, Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mr. V. K. Krishna Menon, Defence Minister, Shri Dhebar, ex-President of All India Congress, H. H. Maharajah and Maharani of Patiala, the Governor of Punjab, Mr. N. V. Gadgil, Governors of other States, Generals, Minister of Education from Punjab, the Director of Public relations as also the Director and Programme Manager of All India Radio, Jullundur and of course, our own very popular Chief Minister, Sardar Partap Singh Kairon.

The students responded to Self-Culture with great enthusiasm and their desire for further instruction and genuine hunger for this advanced knowledge demanded a permanent “Self-Culture Association”. On October 4th, this too was organized. The enclosed two pamphlets were published for the occasion. The “Outlines” of Ten Lectures delivered at Chail during the month of June were published by the Department of Education, and “What is Self-Culture” had previously been recorded by the All India Radio to be released on their programme of October 1st, at 9-15 P. M. from Jullundur. It was my debut on the air in my own India. So Self-Culture is taking root and in less than one year it has been my good fortune to accomplish what I could not achieve in forty years in America.

Now, we have secured a permanent Headquarters for the Self-Culture Institute and Associations. This consists of close to two acres situated in beautiful Saproon Valley surrounded on three sides by lofty mountains and on the fourth a broad inspiring view of the Valley. The elevation is 4500 feet and it is located 25 miles from Simla and 45 miles from Chandigarh: the very modern Capital of Punjab. I know you will rejoice with us that something constructive is being done.

While I desire to share our activities and let you know where I am, my main objective is to extend to all my personal Holiday Greetings.

May the NEW YEAR unfold the Pattern of your Life,
Open vistas of new vision and deeper under-standing in the
Application of lessons learned from “Self-Culture Teachings”.

Let your teacher and friend hear from you and consider this an invltation to come to visit us.

October 10, 1959
Chief Minister’s Guest House
Chandigarh, Punjab, INDIA

Collection: Bhagwan Singh Gyanee Materials
Donor: S.P. Singh
Digitizer: Anne Vagts, Samip Mallick
Item History: 2012-08-05 (created); 2013-05-03 (modified)

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